Gary Rowett has confirmed that Sam Winnall is a doubt for Derby County’s trip to Middlesbrough on Saturday after missing the win against Queens Park Rangers with an ankle problem.

Winnall, scorer of four goals so far this season, was not included in the squad for the visit of Ian Holloway’s side after picking up an injury in training on Monday.

Rowett doesn’t think that Winnall is far away from a return to action, but he’s unsure if the striker will make the trip to the Riverside Stadium on Saturday or be ready for the visit of Ipswich Town three days later.

He told RamsTV: “He rolled his ankle in training so I think he’ll be touch and go for the weekend, maybe Tuesday as well but hopefully he won’t be too far away.

“He might be okay for the weekend, but the reality is that he’s going to be a doubt for the next couple of games.”

Mason Bennett and Darren Bent are both back in full training after enduring lengthy spells out with knee and hamstring injuries respectively.

Rowett admitted that he could have included the pair in the squad to face QPR, but they are now likely to make their return to action against Leicester City’s Under-23s at Pride Park Stadium on Friday night.

The boss is pleased that he will soon have two more attacking options available, should they come through the Premier League 2 – Division One meeting with the Foxes unscathed.

He said: “It was tempting to throw Mason or Benty on the bench just to have another striking option available, they both need some game time.

“We might have to take the hit, in terms of our bench for the Middlesbrough game, in order to accelerate their chances of being involved.

“If they play a big portion of the Leicester game, then as far as I’m concerned, they’re fit.

“They’ve been training for a couple of weeks now and that was the aim because they’ve been out for quite a while, rather than training for a few days and throwing them straight into a game.

“It will be nice to get them back involved, they both look sharp in training and we always want those type of options available to us.”